Page Ranking.

Six Ways to Improve Your Ranking

I do not claim to be an expert in this area, however after 15 years of doing this, I have learned one or two things.

1) Create Quality Content

Seems pretty darn obvious to most folks out there, but let me tell you it isn’t to a lot of folks. Don’t just rehash crap you have read, show an opinion, show you have ideas and don’t go with the herd. Don’t be stupid about it, but if you agree with everyone else, then why would anyone want to read your stuff?

2) Stay on Topic

If your site is about a specific topic, Stay on topic! Yes, occasionally, after you are successful you can add your favorite guacamole recipe or whatever, but stay on topic. I was really, really guilty of wandering off topic, and it has cost me time and again. Why would anyone read your stuff if you can’t stay on topic?

This site exists because my Personal Finance site was getting riddled with technology stuff, and nobody wanted that. Stay in your lane.

3) Make it fast

If your site is as slow as molassis in January, nobody will wait for it to load. People have no attention span these days, so don’t overload your site with crap that slows it down. Better still use something to cache it and optimize the cache’ing settings too.

Google cares about this a lot too.

4) Make Your Key Content Easy to Find

Anything you think is good or important better be no more than 1 click from any page that any user browses. If you make things easy to find, people will find them, more easily (think about that one for a minute).

5) Get links and make good links

For God’s Sake don’t carpet bomb sites asking for Guest Posts and Links. I get inundated with that crap and I ignore it. People who I know that are successful just ignore them. Make contacts, but you aren’t going to make good contacts on cold-call emails.

6) Social Media

Seriously, I gotta put that one down? OK, here is a little more stuff, if you are using Social Media SEPARATE your personal and business feeds. If you want to get up on your pulpit about a personal cause, do you want it to be associated with your site?

7) HTTPS – Get a Site Cert

If your site does not have an SSL cert, go get one. Many folks won’t go near a site without one, and if you are going to sell something you MUST get one. It makes you look like you actually are trying hard too.

8) Get your site Crawled

Set yourself up on Bing, Google and whatever other search engines you can think of so they crawl your site to find your great content! Install Yoast SEO or something like that and it is all pretty much automatic. They aren’t going to look for you, there is too much content these days, you have to tell them about yourself. Search on sitemap.xml and go from there!

9) Learn how to count!

Yeh, that is important too. I hate list posts, so I did this mostly as a gag (i.e. more than 6 points). Lean how to make sure your content is concise and easy to read. If you have a thesis, better put a sharp precis at the start or folks aren’t going to read 10,000 words.

Back to Page Rank 4 (for now) 2

In the good old days of Google, Page Rank was an actual number, and it was a fluid number, which changed often. The higher the number the better, and Zero was a page rank for a site that Google didn’t like.

So I have managed to get back my Page Rank after a lot of work on my part (and some pleading with Google as well).  Previously my rank was 4 and it is now back to 4, so I am not really complaining, however I did do a fair amount of changes on my site which I outlined in my posts:

The final steps that I took that seem to have fixed the final issues were to:

  1. Disassociate myself with Text Link Ads, which is painful, because they actually paid more than Adsense ever did, but to get Page Rank I will sacrifice this income stream in hopes of creating other income streams.
  2. Changing my site theme to The Thesis Theme for WordPress which is very flexible and just great for THE Canadian Personal Finance Site, and I am still learning what I can do with it.

The new Theme ideas are still percolating in my mind, however, it was dead simple to make the site look very similar to what the site was previously.

Now I have a good Page Rank, I guess it’s time to start a marketing campaign for the site, and have a real advertising page as well!

Another Page Rank Slap Down from Google 2

Yup, our amigos at Google have decided that The Canadian Personal Finance Blog is contravening their rules, and thus it has been slapped back down to Page Rank 0 (Zero), and all of the entailing crap that goes with that.

What caused this BCM? I have no frigging idea, but I at least did get a nice note from them telling me of this fact (and I quote):

Dear site owner or webmaster of,

We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links on your site pointing to other sites that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include selling links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results.
If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.

Artificial or unnatural linking? Anyone knows what that actually might mean? Selling links? OK I have one paid for link on my page, and I used Text-Link-Ads, so guilty there, but not sure what link schemes I am using (I don’t actually have that many folks that have linked to my site lately).

Oh well, I have looked around and will try to clean up some of my links, and I have asked for an appeal on this, but I am not overly confident this will happen in the next little while. For the longest time I was at ZERO and then I jumped back to PR: 5, but now I am back where I started from. Life is never dull when you run a Financial Blog.

External Links and Carnivals

Link Carpet Bombing

After last week’s discussion of external linking, the search for links from the big boys, I didn’t really go into depth about the current methodology I have in place.

I have been over doing the whole social media thing and plan on curtailing this activity for a while and see if it changes much, but I have added a new way to build up links to posts, and that is Carnival Carpet Bombing.

The important thing, is to get all your posts links of some kind, so they don’t become little orphans (this means internal or external links, but especially external links). As most of my readers of THE Canadian Personal Finance Blog knows I create new content every week (usually about 5 posts), and I have been making a conscious effort to make sure that each post has a link to something internally on my site (usually a much older post), to ensure I have fewer orphaned posts (especially older ones).

The second thing I do is typically on Thursday, I will go to Blog Carnival Central and submit each of the posts for the week to one of the many Personal Finance carnivals, to ensure that then each post has an external link to it (hence the concept of Carnival Carpet Bombing).

Will this bring a lot more readership to my site? I am skeptical, it sometimes brings spikes in readership, but there is a low retention rate on these new readers. This does add external links, and if you are starting out, more likely than not from a higher Page Rank site, which then gives you a higher Page Rank. As long as the external site linking to you is not an identified SPAM or SCRAPING site, then this can only help your site in Google’s Eyes.

What might be useful would be a tool to wander around the net and draw the link map for each of your post, showing where it might have links to, and show the traversal path of robots through your Internal Link Lattice as well. Anybody know of such a tool? I prefer graphical output, since text files with thousands of words give me headaches.

NB: So the ability to do this has become a lot harder with the death of Carnivals as a methodology, and the inability to easily enrol in them.

Page Rank 5 Again?

So somehow THE Canadian Personal Finance site is back to a Page Rank of 5 with Google. This has meant I am now inundated with requests for link exchanges (which I mostly ignore), SPAM comments by the tonne (somehow this has increased), and lots of requests for advertising on the site.

I have no real explanation why the site jumped, but my guess would be my creation of an Adwords account did not hurt my site much. The traffic is slowly increasing, however, my guess is that it could just as easily slow off, if there isn’t future work to increase readership.

Digg and StumbleUpon are both brining more readership which is good, but it ends up that any mention on either the Canadian Capitalist or in the regular printed press tends to bring “looky Lous”, who only look for a day or two and then they are gone. I am not sure how to best keep those occasional readers.

A theme change is needed, but I have not had time to get one that interests me as of yet.

Book Review: SEO Search Engine Optimization Bible

SEO Bible by Jerri L. Ledford

(ISBN: 978-0-470-17500-2) As usual I have not purchased this book, I have, however, borrowed it from the Ottawa Public Library.

This is an excellent book for those who are beginners in the “Mug’s Game” of Search Engine Optimization.(SEO) It explains what the basic concepts of SEO are, and why they are important if you are trying to make money on the web.

The book starts sensibly talking about how you need a plan for how you are going to use SEO on your site (know what you want to achieve so you know whether you have succeeded or not). A good point made is that if you are going to do this, you should use Google Analytics to collect data (again, you need data to know whether you are succeeding or not).

The book then dives into different SEO techniques like the use of META tags on your site to get Search Engine Robots to find your site and be able to classify it, correctly. If you do a “View Page Source” on this page you’ll see which meta tags I have set up for this site too. The key to SEO is the use of Keywords, and the rest of the book outlines well how to get Search Engines to associate Keywords with your web site, and how to get your rank for that Keyword up the list (appearing on Page 10 on Google isn’t your goal).

Very good learning points about Keyword densities (don’t use them too little OR too much), and what techniques you should be using in a Pay Per Click (PPC) environment as well. Their explanation of PPC is useful for “newbies” as well, I learned 1 or 2 things I didn’t know as well. I skipped the section on Advertising keywords, since I was not very interested in that section (yet), but it seems quite detailed on tactics in that area as well.

Content is king, is my credo and the book outlines the importance of not simply putting out a bunch of retread information or some hack-kneed old information, you need to be interesting and fresh to attract and KEEP readers (don’t just do book reviews, as an example, unless your site is a book review site).

The books sections on Links and Robots is again very illustrative and important to understand if you want to play the SEO game. This site for example has very incoming links and whereas my financial site have hundreds of links in which helps it keep it’s popularity. How to deal with Robots is also quite important and the explanations in the book are very helpful. The author’s warnings about SEO SPAM should be heeded, unless you want to be a Black Hat SEO person (i.e. a bad guy).

Analysis of the data after you have implemented your plan is your final goal and deciding whether you have succeeded (and how you might change your plan to create more success), concludes the books content.


I always feel that if I get three new ideas from any content it is of value, and I view this book as a useful resource and a good read. I will not be buying it, as I have already noted from it what I want to use, but I would recommend this book if you are starting out in the SEO game.

Good read!